Education has a fundamental role in building a culture of respect for the law and to prevent crime and violence.
Through the Education for Justice (E4J) initiative, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has developed educational tools and resources for educators worldwide to support strengthening the rule of law through education.
Specifically, E4J is aimed at building a culture of lawfulness among children and youth through the provision of age-appropriate educational materials on topics related to criminal justice, crime prevention and the rule of law, including integrity and ethics. Important cross-cutting issues such as gender and human rights are also integrated into these materials.
At the primary level (6-12 years old), E4J focuses on promoting and teaching values such as acceptance, integrity, respect and fairness. E4J’s educational materials contribute to building resilience among children and equipping them with skills such as conflict resolution, critical thinking, teamwork and empathy.
These values and skills are regarded as crucial in creating non-tolerance of crime and violence and helping children to solve ethical dilemmas. These materials and tools also support learning on the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, in particular Goals 4, 5, 10 and 16. Furthermore, the ongoing work under E4J also integrates and mainstreams a gender-perspective in its activities and resources.
Education has a fundamental role in building a culture of respect for the law and to prevent crime and violence. Therefore, it is important to begin this learning early in a child’s academic journey, so that they are aware of the global problems and shared challenges that undermine the rule of law and affect our societies.
This, in turn, will help children understand how each of us can bring about change and contribute to a more sustainable, inclusive, just and peaceful society.
The educational materials are available for teachers and facilitators who work with children aged from 6 to 12 years old in formal or informal education environments at the primary level.